How I went from being a driven career girl in the city to a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, cloth nappying, stay-at-home-mum (SAHM). Gulp.
1) Ignorance: What is it that stay-at-home-mums actually do?! I mean, asides from getting their nails & hair done.
I’ll never have kids until I’m at the top of the career ladder. Being a house wife is just for ladies of leisure.
But I best not tell my employers I’m preggers or they’ll think I’m weak.
I’ll just wear a slimming belt and crack on with the job in hand.
3) Vanity: Do you think I can do this pregnancy thing without stretch marks & getting fat?
Worst case scenario, I’ll just contour the hell out of my whole body and turn my belly bulge into a six pack.
I’ve got this pregnancy sussed.
Gym, eat an extra apple a day & plenty of water. Sorted.
Me at work bellydancing…
I can’t stretch to lather myself in bio-oil let alone applying fake tan.
And as for the gym, I can just about waddle there and throw a few shapes in Zumba then I. am. DONE.
5) Labour: Giving birth will be a piece of cake. I’ve no time for hypno-birthing so I’ll just throw some relaxing songs on to a CD and hope for the best.
I’m going to have a totally “natural” birth: no drugs, no intervention and a water pool.
Aaaand push: They’ve induced me… Welcome to a long and extremely painful labour. Plus a few work phone calls.
Give me the drugs!
Gas & Air (great, I feel drunk), give me an epidural (I give up!!) aaaand pushhhh… Wait where’s my partner?!
He popped out for a Subway sandwich but hasn’t returned?!
Arrrrggghhh!!! Cue desperate phone calls.
Then he idly walks into the labour suite with a Subway and drink in hand.
And on that romantic sandwich-in-shining-armour moment… our first baby was born.
7) Becoming parents: Gush!!! Our world has changed. Life has a whole new meaning/purpose for us.
We never realised how much this little smiling/ crying/ pooing person could bring us so much happiness.
Cue a billion selfies (no pouting, just smiling. Wtf has happened to me? I feel like Gwyneth Paltrow with this smug mum glow, I’ve even reduced my make-up overlay.)
8) Attachment parenting: So I’ve just discovered this “AP” term on Facebook and I hate to say it, but I’m one of them!
I’ve some how fallen into this co-sleeping, cloth nappying, breast feeding, baby-led weaning mode da vie.
I dont get what’s happened to me though?!
I’m a city girl, I kill plants, I go to the gym, I shave and I’m, well I’m a bit of a chav for want of a better word (big hoops + sports clothes).
Maybe it’s my vegetarian gene?! I’m obviously not getting enough protein… I’ve gone mad!
9) Second baby: Yup, uh huh I can do this shit. I’ve now evolved from terry nappies and I’m using all-in-one nappies and getting tips from a cloth nappy library.
Although… Feeding… Well never in a billion years did I think I’d end up tandem feeding my two little (ish) sprogs. My boobs need a bit more of an extendable power. Good Bye Victoria’s Secrets and hello big comfy bras that pop out your boob in a non-bondage-milk-releasing style.
I’ll breastfeed anywhere and everywhere I please. Ok so not everywhere, as sooo many people stare when you breastfeed past one year and especially when your trying to discreetly tandem feed.
“Don’t worry being a mum has not changed me,” I lie.
“You’ll get your career back soon,” they say, as they try to pick out the positive pieces of my life – this city girl turned house wife – confused identity.
And I panic.
What is this career ladder thing I was making my way up anyway?!
I’ve made enough tea to quench the country’s thirst, I’ve smiled, I’ve enthused and I’ve done a lot of darn hard hours working for free to gain “experience”.
But don’t I need a job to earn and more than that, I think I need a job for the social recognition.
Actually by the time I pay for childcare it means, I’m paying to work …BUT…
What if people think I’m lazy and I’m JUST a stay-at-home-mum?!
No that doesn’t sit right with my career-obsessed feminista former self – I must achieve, I must prosper and I will change the world.
11) Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM) admission: Well I’m never going to make it to being Prime Minster anyway. I know the Green Party may be able to do job shares but nobody else is.
I tried this career mum thing with my first child. Aged 6 months she went to nursery whilst I pushed my journalistic career from local to national news outlets as well as continuing my dance shows to keep the cash flow going.
I felt I had to do it. We can have it all right?
I was spread waaaay too thinly and I spent precious moments of my first’s babyhood stuck in traffic on the M62, in a desperate attempt to commute. I was living the so-called “dream.”
And I won’t make that mistake again.
Especially since my second baby touched death as a newborn.
THAT changed everything.
It brought my “career” to a halt, I stopped yearning for more. And well, I just watched every breath my child took as we weren’t sure she’d survive.
My ambition and drive has not disappeared though, it’s just changed.
Being content is my happy place.
Being a mum is where I’m needed now.
And I love blogging, film-making and dancing but I guess… What I really am is a (gulp), stay-at-home-mum.
I still struggle to say that. I know I shouldn’t be ashamed of it, it’s just hard to admit as I was brought up in a world of working. And I devalued time just spent living.
So here I am, in my ripe (young ish) feeling-old age clutching onto my twenties and I think I’ve found my raison d’etre.
A mad dancing SAHM who loves to breathe and blog about her days.
12) YOLO: So I guess I now follow my own dreams rather than anyone elses.
Being a house wife and mum was not in my twenties life goals. But I sure am enjoying it and getting to grips with what’s really important.
NB/ Being a SAHM / house wife is bloody hard too, your chasing your tail, it’s a thankless albeit lovely task AND you don’t get any bloody time for your hair, nails or sanity… Although I do sometimes escape to get my brows threaded. As for everything else though… I’ll find time once the toddler tantrums have stopped and the house is tidy… Yeah right.